Against Roslol, Nadal had knee injury, and against Crapballos, he just came back after 8 months layoff. He is in reasonable form right now, suggesting he will drop a set against some journeyman is dumb, this is not Noserer we are talking about here.
He is but he looked even in Sao Paulo to be slower, worn out and his groundies looked unusually weak.
Nadal has been at the top of the game since he was 18, he reached #2 just after turning 19- his body has taken years of battles. It's understandable if he declines at 27.
he did look slower and more worn out but pretty impossible to read anything from it when considering he was gone from the game for so long and may be just 'playing it safe' with the knees, i.e. not trying as hard to be super careful
<3 Roger Federer <3 David Ferrer <3 Juan Martin Del Potro <3 Ernest Gulbis <3
A first match in a tournament it can be always more difficult than others, but Nadal should win Schwartzman in two sets.
__________________ Kenny de Schepper fact of the month (January 2015): never lost a match against the Big 4 (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray), something that can't be told by none of the TOP 30 players of the year-end 2014 ATP rankings.
"Matches are won and lost so many times in the locker room. Guys get in their mind how strong he is the warm-ups and that they will have to endure four hours of that to beat him: they are beaten even before they step on court. But that's why I like him. He basically says you are going to have to kill me to beat me."Lleyton Hewitt about Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal: The King of Clay. The Warrior. The Mental Giant.
Gasquet - De Schepper - Giraldo - Klizan - Youzhny - Nishikori - Thiem - Haas - Jaziri